Canucks vs. Senators Prediction: NHL Odds & Betting Preview (November 8)
Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Andrei Kuzmenko, Bo Horvat and J.T. Miller
- The Canucks are road underdogs in tonight's NHL matchup with the Senators.
- Both teams have been struggling of late, but underlying numbers point to one team destined to turn things around, and that team has value tonight.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including a betting pick.
Canucks vs. Senators Odds
|7 p.m. ET
|Odds via Caesars. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.
The Vancouver Canucks will head in to Ottawa for a matchup with the Senators with each side in desperate need of two points.
Vancouver blew its eighth multi-goal lead of the season against Nashville Saturday night in what was yet another strong performance which ended in a losing result.
Ottawa has dropped five straight and at 4-7-0 is last in the Atlantic Division in a season which many proclaimed would finally be the breakthrough.
Which flawed side may hold the upper hand in Tuesday's matchup?
Canucks Have Offensive Potential
Vancouver has become the first team in the salary cap era to lose eight contests in its opening 12 games after holding a multi-goal lead.
Blowing leads at such a rate is simply unsustainable, and it could be argued as a positive as when the Canucks inevitably manage to close out some of these leads the the record will improve drastically.
A below-average defensive core is always going to be a significant problem, but the Canucks have still managed the league's 13th-best expected goals for rate over the last five games at 52.33%.
Vancouver's offering a number of top players in the midst of some really strong form, and its deep forward corps is going to be a consistent strength all season long.
Elias Pettersson has followed up his strong finish to last season with a spectacular start.
Pettersson has played effectively at both ends of the ice while generating 15 points in 12 games, and has one of the better understandings league wide of where all 10 skaters on the ice are at any given time.
Canucks captain Bo Horvat has also come flying out of the gates, and sits second in the NHL with 10 goals in 12 games this season.
If there's one thing elite NHL rosters have in common, it's strong depth at center, and Pettersson and Horvat certainly register as an elite 1-2 punch.
If J.T. Miller can continue to trend into livable form, the Canucks hold a scary 1-2-3 down the middle, and when compared to the Senators who are without Josh Norris currently, that is a significant advantage.
The Canucks' blue line continues to struggle badly, and the majority of their defenders' inability to move the puck up the ice effectively is still hindering Vancouver's lethal forward corps' ability to perform.
Ethan Bear will likely prove to be a savvy addition from Carolina and could shore up the third pair in time, but even still Vancouver is skating three below replacement level defenders each night.
The defensive core seems likely to struggle all season long, but expecting the same from goaltender Thatcher Demko is not logical.
A turnaround in form from Demko is the most logical path to better results for the Canucks, and his early struggles have been a causation of all the blown leads.
Demko has struggled to a -6.8 goals saved above expected rating (GSAx) and .879 save % throughout nine games played, and will likely be given the opportunity to get his season moving in the right direction tonight.
Senators Struggling Without Norris
Ottawa has not responded well to the loss of Norris by any means, and has dropped five consecutive contests since that time with a goal differential of -7.
The Senators have played to a 42.31% expected goals for rate during their five-game skid, which is notably poor even if we consider the strength of schedule.
Ottawa was unable to take advantage of a Flyers side which has been heavily outplayed at five-on-five Saturday at home, and the performance may be somewhat telling about where this team is truly at for the time being.
Similar to the Canucks, Ottawa has some notable holes on the blue line, and is working to overcome those concerns with a high-powered offensive unit.
The Senators have generated just 3.25 expected goals for per game over the last five outings, however, and the fact that this roster has managed no wins while its offensive play is in limbo is not overly surprising.
Cam Talbot has been confirmed as Ottawa's starting goaltender for this matchup, and has played to a GSAx of +2.9 with a .951 save % throughout two appearances since return from injury.
Canucks vs. Senators Pick
Even if we are going to put some onus on the fact that Ottawa plays in a tougher Eastern Conference, it's clear that entering this game Vancouver has played at a similar or even slightly higher level this season based upon the underlying numbers.
The splits between these sides become more notable of late as Vancouver has seemingly stabilized with a 3-1-1 record and strong underlying numbers throughout those contests.
Each holds some well below replacement level players on the blue line and is trying outweigh those flaws with high-powered forward units.
With Norris sidelined, Vancouver is holding a deeper offensive core for the time being however, and it is not surprising to see that the Canucks has created a lot more chances offensively.
Therefore getting the Canucks as a slight underdog in a game where they should control more of the play holds value, especially if we put some faith in the fact that Demko is going to bounce-back for Vancouver moving forward.
At +105 the Canucks offer a very live underdog, and I would play this down to +100.
Pick: Vancouver Canucks +105 (Play to +100)